Canada must Be a Global Climate Leader

In dramatically shifting political times, Canada must be a genuine leader at the international climate negotiations and work to implement every tenet of the Paris Agreement.

At COP21 in Paris, Canada played a critical leadership role in securing a global agreement that seeks to limit the average rise in global temperature to 1.5°C. Countries are now gathering in Marrakech Morocco to get to work implementing the Paris Agreement.

“Meeting the temperature limitation goals in the Paris Agreement requires more ambitious action from everyone. While states, cities, and businesses will continue driving decarbonization of the U.S. economy, there are concerns that the incoming Trump presidency will roll back progress at the federal level,” says Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Given this new reality, Canada’s leadership is needed now more than ever.”

International leadership must be consistent with leadership at home. Canada must, at a minimum, stay the course on the national carbon price, methane reduction, and other measures being developed to meet the 2030 targets. Canada’s long-term, mid-century decarbonization strategy will also be critical to setting the stage for near-term action and getting us on track to sticking to our fair share of the global carbon budget.

To make the necessary progress toward meeting the 2030 targets, Canada must also look to coordinate implementation of sustainable development strategies and policies with all levels of government including provinces, territories, and municipalities from coast to coast to coast. The BC Council for International Cooperation’s BC 2030 campaign calls attention to the need for a coordinated approach to effective implementation of both the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals both of which Canada signed on to to in 2015.

The Prime Minister and the Premiers are meeting in December to develop a Pan Canadian Climate Plan to meet the 2030 targets of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. CAN-Rac is advocating for building a mechanism into the Pan-Canadian Plan that ensures we are increasing our ambition over time while investing in new low carbon economic development as well as training programs so workers can take advantage of new employment opportunities.